Baumhower: The disgrace of NancyWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“When Nancy Grace introduces you, don’t say things like ‘Thanks for having me’ or ‘It’s great to be here;’ she hates that.’” With those very words, I knew my life was going to get a little bit crazier than it already had, pushing the line of unbelievable, almost fiction.
My iPhone started to explode yesterday (Dec. 2) with calls and texts from familiar names, all with information about a familiar ongoing painful saga, the Baby Elaina case. At the same time, news started to break about grand jury indictments against Elaina’s mother Angela Steinfurth and her ex-boyfriend Steven King. Angela was indicted for murder, Steven for aggravated murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. What I discovered next during my conversations was far different than the breaking news.
I learned that both Steinfurth and King would be sentenced Dec. 3 as a part of a plea agreement reached with Lucas County prosecutors. Family sources shared that Steven will be given a life sentence and Angela will be given a sentence of 18 years for their parts in the death of her 18-month-old daughter, Elaina. The plea deals will need the judges’ approvals, but they are expected to be accepted.
In court today, we are also going to hear both defendants accept responsibility and possibly give some new details about the baby’s final moments. The grand jury indictments were insurance that neither defendant would change their minds about the agreements reached.
Today will legally close the book on the Baby Elaina case.
My dad’s pickup truck pulled into my driveway and simultaneously both my cell and home phones start to ring. As I attempt to answer both like I was working a pizza shop, it occurred to me that the two callers are dialing me from the exact same number in New York. Two producers from the “Nancy Grace” show were tracking me down. She wanted me as a guest on her show.
I grabbed my headphones, put my earbuds in and got in the truck idling outside. I mouthed the words “Nancy Grace” to my chauffeur, my Dad, and the look of complete confusion appeared on his face. My father was driving me so I could use his truck to pick up new box springs from Banner Mattress, something arranged hours before any indictments or text messages. There was no time to cancel my father, nor a way, as he doesn’t text. So just imagine that here I was going to speak nationwide in front of millions of people, riding in a very loud truck, next to a man who asked me seconds before the show began, “Who is Nancy Grace?”
In the Banner Mattress parking lot, I was set to break the biggest news of the case since the discovery of the toddler’s body on the show that made it a national story and subsequent professional wrestling match.
My reception and the breaking news I was sharing with the world did not receive the response I was expecting.
Nancy did not want to hear it, so she downplayed the information and moved her show forward, with her legal experts breaking down the indictments with a forensic expert turned author who was elaborating on the coroner’s report and findings. This was all moments after I told her point blank the Baby Elaina case would be over.
My brief appearance on “Nancy Grace” proved to me that she does not care about the truth, but only how information gathered and shared will fit into a long-running storyline where she appears sympathetic and the voice of victims. She proved last night it wasn’t about a deceased 18-month-old child and it wasn’t about the legal system; it was about her ratings.
Nancy and her HLN network invested a lot of time dedicated to this case. They branded the face and name of a missing 18-month-old child because that’s what this show does. It’s not news, it’s not entertainment; it’s exploitainment. The “Nancy Grace” show didn’t help, it only seemed to cause hysteria, give celebrity status to people undeserving of the attention, all while exploiting a working class East Side family by showcasing its Jerry Springer allure. The network and especially her show’s ratings success is dependent on this case going to trial, so they can continue their coverage of a real-life soap opera.
Nancy Grace did not discover another Casey Anthony in Toledo, but we discovered the real Nancy Grace.
Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates’s office will end this chapter in our history and will end this nightly storyline. Prosecutors are going to finally put an ice bag on this city’s latest black eye.
If you watch Nancy’s show and believe she is authentic, then you are most definitely a fool, a person who must also believe that pro wrestling is real and roller derby is a legitimate sport. Nancy Grace exploits missing and dead babies for ratings and in the process tampers with our legal system and people’s right to a fair trial. It seems Nancy’s last name is missing a prefix, “Dis.”
Find Jeremy Baumhower on Facebook or Twitter @jeremytheproduc.